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How to Dress for Welding Safety



Kevin did a video about shop safety, and one viewer said, "But what about your personal safety? What kind of PPE - personal protection equipment - do you wear in your art studio every day?"

Kevin starts at the bottom. He prefers steel-toed engineer boots. So when he drops something heavy, he doesn't lose a toe! He also likes engineer boots because there are no laces or tongues for a spark to sit in. Because these boots are all leather, there's no place for a spark to burn through, either.

Next, just plain cotton blue jeans. Kevin likes Levis because they fit him better. Also, no rips, no frays, no tears - and no way for the sparks to get inside. You want the sparks to just roll right off.

Next up, a plain cotton T-shirt. He likes to leave his untucked because it's cooler and sparks roll off - you're protected all the way to the floor.

For arm and hand protection - very important because you use your hands a lot! - Kevin sometimes uses heat sleeves. They're fireproof and heatproof. He thinks they made be made of smoke and magic because he can lean right on a TIG weld and not feel it.

The heat sleeves have clips so you can attach them to your T-shirt and have protection down to your hands, then pull your gloves up over them. Oddly enough, though they're not sparkproof, so don't wear them when MIG welding or stick welding (arc welding).

For TIG welding or oxygen-acetylene welding, Kevin likes Tillman 1490 gloves. They fit his hands the best, have plenty of padding, and the mesh on the back lets them breathe and keep his hands a little cooler.

For MIG welding or stick welding, Kevin likes the Tillman 1250s. He just picked up a pair of ProStars at his local Praxair weldng supply; they're made by Tillman, too.

Any time he's MIG welding or stick welding, he wears a welding jacket. He recently picked up a welding jacket with leather sleeves to deal with those pesky sparks that like to settle in the inside of the elbow.

To top things off, Kevin wears a welding cap. It keeps sparks out of your hair, and the bill on the back protects your neck from sparks. Then just a decent, autodarkening welding helmet. He likes the leather bib that helps protect the front of your chest from sparks and sunburn.

Kevin is ready to get back to work, but you might want to stick around and see him stump the Voice ....

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